Trinidad Municipal Court – Trinidad, TX

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal offenses and civil matters inside its location. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.

Trinidad Municipal Court INformation

Court: Trinidad Municipal Court
Address: “212 Park St, PO Box 345, Trinidad, TX 75163”
Phone: 903-778-4545

City: Trinidad
County: Henderson
State: Texas

What is the purpose of the Trinidad Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Trinidad Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

On the other hand, the role of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family law matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Trinidad, Texas

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their population or to save money on costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony charge, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Trinidad?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to help for a specific time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The following material is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court matter.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to appear at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Trinidad, TX

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Trinidad Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can possess penalties up to $1,000.00 or one year in local jail. A person’s driving privileges may be suspended for six months if they receive three speeding tickets within 12 months.

The penalties for different charges in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Trinidad Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of case they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Trinidad Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Trinidad, Texas?

In Texas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Trinidad, Texas?

Depending on the scope of the municipality, a municipal court can handle a civil division (cases with less than  $15,000 at issue), a traffic/criminal division, or a housing and environmental division. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Trinidad Municipal Court have?

The number of judges depends on the municipality’s population.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Texas?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their licenses.